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This disturbing film records the successful experiments in the resuscitation of life to dead animals (dogs), as conducted by Dr. S.S. Bryukhonenko at the Institute of Experimental Physiology and Therapy, Voronezh, U.S.S.R. Director: D.I. Yashin. Camera: E.V. Kashina. Narrator: Professor Walter B. Cannon. Introduced by Professor J.B.S. Haldane.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Techfilm Studio, Moscow
Sponsor: Soviet Film Agency
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Animals: Dogs; Medicine: Veterinary: Experiments; Life extension
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Donnycarney Girl -
Subject: This is fake!
Please read Ken Smith's notes at the bottom of this page: this material is fake.
Kevin VandeWettering -
Subject: Animal Research
This movie is brutal. The research was worth the cost in dogs. Sorry dogs. :(
Subject: When semantics are important:
Chipsi50: "I am an animal abuse advocate..."
Really? You condone, are in favor of and are willing to facilitate the abuse of animals? Really??
Or, more likely, you are an animal abuse activist.
Sometimes, it's just one word that can really screw things up for people.
Argus Faux -
Subject: Are you serious?
Chipsi50: "but it obviously isn't right or didn't work for the future."
Bonsho: "I never knew such a thing was possible. Respect."
You're telling me that you had no idea blood transfusions were possible? This is the basis for all modern dialysis and transfusions, developed in Russia before 1940. This is an important piece of medical and World history.
Subject: Awesome Work
I never knew such a thing was possible. Respect.
This experiment makes me so sad. It is called animal cruelty. How could anyone do this to a defenseless poor dog. My heart breaks as i watched this. I know that it was an experiment back then in 1940,but it obviously isn't right or didn't work for the future. I am an animal abuse advocate and don't think this kind of experiment should have ever been tried.
Subject: I download by...
right click the file and "save as target".
That is how I do it anyway.
Subject: Please help
I would like to download this video and use some of the footage in a movie I am making...y question mya sound dumb but here it is...how on earth do you download it??????? I have played it several times but I can't see where to click to save it to my computer.....PLEASE HELP!!!!!! Thanks
hamid toratan -
I think that it is very good page
not a worthless die, instead, dead for science!
Subject: I hate your new video player!
I do not have all day and night to view one film thank you! The new player is awful, continual pauses to buffer the film in some manner with the endless circles! How obnoxious is that I must ask? I will go else where to view documentaries from now on and any other films for that matter!
Very impressive, wouldn't expect this from the technologie they had in 194"
Subject: this film changed my life
I spent a year of my life dedicated to this tiny documentary, reconstituting the animated elements of it as a dynamic surreal landscape and inserting myself into the film through green screen captures and digital reworking. I then turned the new film into an installation/projection performance which started my art career. if your interested, the mash up re-mix is available at http://youtu.be/kRn10Oa_5G4
Nikolay Kolev -
Subject: Really? Disturbing? Man up, people!
I am really surprised by most reviewers finding this video disturbing. Slaughtering billions of cows, pigs, chickens each year out of gluttony is not disturbing, but killing a dog for saving human lives is!
It's more disturbing that in America and Europe dogs live better lives and have more rights than humans!
I almost chocked when I saw a video of yoga for dogs growing popular! This world has gone bonkers!
Several people have suggested that this film is a fake, if so how was such a well known scientist involved? Haldane was a highly respected experimental biologist. Most famous for work in genetics and physiology - his work on blood oxygen levels, the use of decompression chambers and hyperbaric oxygen treatment are of particular note. Haldane was no friend to the British government, and in fact revoked his citizenship and became an Indian national.
Dupenhagen Moonbat -
Subject: Brain Death
If we can believe this film, the evidence suggests that dogs have a greater tolerance for brain death duration than do humans.
EJ Stat -
Subject: Soviet technology not so inferior
I grew-up during the cold war years of the 60's and 70's when the threat of Soviet domination was a real concern to U.S. citizens. The biggest comfort afforded us was the belief that our technology was far superior than the Russians. I can't tell if this film is real or cleaver propaganda, but since the wall came tumbling down in the 1980's more and more information is coming out that the Soviet Union was not that far behind. If we haven't learned anything in the past 20 years, we at least know we are not the impenetrable super-power we were lead to believe in the 60's and 70's. Americans are smart enough and worldly enough to handle the truth from our government. The internet is exposing the lies governments(not just our own), are trying to pass of as doctrine. If we are to live in a free society, like the one our forfathers invisioned, then we need truth from our elected officials. So thats why this film and more like them, no matter how disturbing, need to be shown whenever and wherever they can.
Subject: Cyboric future
This incrediable and outstanding video of the human possibilities to create a Human-machine relationship. Make me want to do one thing. BUILD A FREAKING SKYNET BABY!!!!!
Subject: Dubious Title & Autojector Limitations
The title attracts for its zombie implications or ideas of resurrection. More like an operating room technology advancement where industrial machinery are substituted for organ functions.
The autojecter seemed to have a limitation not mentioned since people usually forget that the lungs perform gas exchange. The metabolic activities, such as respiration, have products that need to be expelled such as CO2.
Didn't seem like a so-called mad scientist or propaganda film but more like a medical advancement report, although the idea of fakery is intriguing and very possible even by ScAmerica the not so innocent it seems.
Subject: I'm not sure about this....
That head moves a lot for not being attached to a body....
Subject: this film documents EVIL
these r EVIL PEOPLE, not "scientists"
Subject: There was no Soviet/USA friendship
This is a crude fake with some verifiable facts mixed in to sell the big lie of the severed head surviving. The point is to show just how barbaric the commies could be when this film was slipped in to high school and college science classes stateside. The ganglia of the dog's neck is not shown for the specific reason that the dog is mostly under the table in as simple a magician's trick as the boys in the OSS film division could devise. This film was made at the Lookout Mountain film lab in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles. It reminds me of the video taped beheading of an American during the early days of the Gulf War by hooded "Iraqui's". The camera in that con zoomed in just as the neck of the victim was supposedly being severed and there were three or four frames of black followed by a zoom out and Viola! Severed Head! Even though no frames actually showed blade to flesh. The applause sign flashes and everyone is ready to go to war. SUCKA!!!
Do not watch this if you have a weak stomach.
amazing vintage for the cyborg culture
Subject: Real Science
This is what is lacking in today's science. Today the pharma companies are interested in keeping people sick and not invest on any break through science like this.
Subject: totally gross and cool-- plus a tickish decapitated dog heads
Sweet Soviet Science, Batman! The Reds have built an army of the undead!
To update a below review: our Lord Wikipedia supports the authenticity of this movie.
I had read about it on the internet but I had no idea there were -videos- of its results!
Part of me feels terrible for the isolated head - poor thing. However, I think that this is/was an astounding achievement. The dogs shown after their 'resurrection' seem to be well, if the video is all truth, but to judge the accuracy of the report here I'd really need more information... Information is often exaggerated, and that certainly was -the- era for propaganda...
Anyhow, A+++. So cool.
Subject: dramatized is not faked
You might want to watch the TED lecture on Google
and also YouTube to see current developements in
If you're sure this is fake just refuse the poison
gas and cooldown method when you have your heart
If you're not doing the experiments, it isn't science.
A real perfusionist -
Subject: A real possibility
I have used heart/lung pumps and associated equipment for over 40 years. The procedures pictured here certainly are possible with 1940s era technology. The oxygenator used is a simple 'bubbler' and the pumps have a design similar to implantable ventricular assist devices used today in humans. Heparin, the anticoagulant which makes the use of the heart/lung pump possible, was commercially available for IV use starting in 1936.
Some of the reviewers suggest that revival of the dogs was impossible because the brain cannot live for more than 4-6 minutes without circulation and oxygen. We now know that this is not true. The brain does become very acidotic without oxygen. If circulation and oxygenation is suddenly resumed after 6 minutes of anoxia, the brain will die as a result of 'reperfusion injury'. However, if the brain is rapidly cooled during or before reperfusion begins, the reperfusion injury can be controlled and the brain brought back to life without damage.
My best educated guess is that the anoxic brain does not actually die for about 30 minutes. This is time enough for doctors and perfusionists to get the patient on pump, cool them off and correct the acidosis before the brain dies.
Uli Hesse -
Subject: "Experiments in the Revival of Organisms" used in award-winning science film!
Thanks to the Rick Prelinger and the Prelinger Archives, we were able to use some scenes from this controversial cult film for our science short film THE GOOD HEART ATTACK!
Please check it out on http://thegoodheartattack.blogspot.com
THE GOOD HEART ATTACK - The resurrection of dead dogs in Russia in the 1930s. An unstoppable heart in the US half a century later. And now in London a hand-made heart attack. How a strange, paradoxical discovery is helping to save lives...
Won the BEST VIDEO AWARD at the Vedere La Scienza Festival 2009, became SHOOTING PEOPLE's FILM OF THE MONTH October 2009 and won the series award at Australian film festival Scinema as part of the Science on Film series.
Renowned video artist and filmmaker Andrew Koetting wrote about THE GOOD HEART ATTACK: "A well constructed and informative short film which weaves archive into the edit in a seamless and interesting way."
See for yourself at http://thegoodheartattack.blogspot.com
f. friedrich kling -
Subject: Try this perspective
What are the medical benefits of these ghastly experiments? For those reviewers who have no moral objection consider this: Would you continue to feel supportive if a more advanced extra-terrestrial life form conducted the same experiments on your loved ones? After all the human species is a less advanced life form so what could possibly be the issue?
Subject: I did a video review of this
which you can see at www.handfulofminutes.com
Honestly, I think this video is fascinating and would love to see more old Soviet films up on www.archive.org
Steve Cook -
Subject: truth & fiction
I am something of an enthusiast in the field of medical history. I also have an interest in other areas of history, in particular political propoganda. The best form of propoganda is that which is based upon an inclusion of some verifiable content. Or if not on verifiable content, upon what a significant number of people believe to be true. The former Soviet Union were experts in this field, far more so than the other major powers.
What was done in this film was to blend fact and fiction very cleverly.
In our current world we forget that the vast majority of people pre- WWII were technologically naive, and it would have fooled many in the target audience.
The problem that all propogandists face is that "You can fool some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time...."
peta would hate it, but it's cool!
I am looking for any pointers on where these experiments are conducted. Or if they are full-flegedly carried out in some hospital. Anyone with any inkling, please mail me at email@example.com
This is a desperate attempt to save a loved one.
Plan 9 -
Subject: An Article About This Film!
Some of the reviewers here are quoted, too. :D
Subject: odd film, of course
Animal lovers won't like it, obviously, but I believe a portion of this short was excerpted in the drama
Life Returns--which involved a boy's dog being revived.
None of the "work" in this film surprises me. Physiology experiments in years past were frequently "upsetting" to the general public and are still poorly understood by them.
To contradict another reviewer's notions on basic biology, the heart is relatively autonomous. The origin of the heart beat is inherent to cardiac muscle. The autonomic nervous system (i.e. sympathetic nervous system from the thoracolumbar spinal cord and the parasympathetic system from the cranial and sacral regions) influences the heart rate, rhythm and contractility, but does not initiate the heart beat.
As for movements of the head, there was still part of the neck attached accounting for that movement. The head did not "lift off the table", but jerked to a certain extent. Nothing earth shattering here, just basic physiology.
The revival of the hypovolemic dogs was also credible, especially since they required over a week of recovery time.
Subject: More about this film:
I have just made a vast overhall of the wikipedia page for this film. I've tried to remove bias, and have presented both sides of the argument over this film's veracity. At the same time, however, I think many of you will be interested in some of the information about Bryukhonenko's work I have unearthed - much of which was obtained through Russian sources and medical papers.
I do ask that anyone who wants to modify the page please take the time I have to research the experiment, before making rash edits.
As for my review, I've not only enjoyed this film, but have used it in several of my own works. It was edited into a film of mine, SCHIAVO, which screened at Indie Memphis Film Festival, and plays a big part in a short story I wrote.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: One Way to Get Ahead
This creepy Russian film from the 30s purports to show us experiments in the reanimation of dead tissue - you heard that right, folks. First we see some fairly disgusting footage of a dog's heart and lungs being kept alive on machines. Then we supposedly see the dog's head being kept alive on a machine and responding to stimuli; if nothing else, this scene would provided inspiration to filmmakers for years to come, giving us such classics as The Brain That Wouldn't Die and The Thing with Two Heads. Then we get to see an experiment where a dog is killed by removing all of its blood, it lies dead for 10 minutes, and then it's blood is returned to its body through a device that oxygenates it, which eventually causes the heart and lungs to start working again. A few days later, classical music swells on the soundtrack and we see the living dog doing doggy things, while the narrator tells us she went on to live a normal doggy life and have a doggy family. Then we are shown several other Russian dogs who we are told were brought back from the dead. Apparently, no brain damage happened in these pups as a result of their brains lacking oxygen for anywhere from 8 to 15 minutes. Whether or not this film portrays real experiments or is all a bunch of hooey has been hotly debated for years, if one is to believe archive.org's reviews. At any rate, it's an unusual and creepy film that stands as evidence, along with Electric Eel, that mad scientists really do exist.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: geeez... pure non-sense!
jesus christ, what have you all believers been doin' on your biology lessons? a junior high school student could say that this whole experiment was unrealistic. i'm too lazy to explain it myself, so i'll just quote wiki on this subject : "Modern medical authorities reject this film outright for many of the above noted inconsistencies.
1. A heart requires a 'pacemaker', in the form of nerves from the brain. It will not last for any length of time severed from this link. The heart also will not restart spontaneously just because oxygenated blood is flowing. Cardiac muscle scars very easily when oxygen is limited, thus the high incidence of heart attacks in humans.
2. Irreversible brain death takes mere minutes to occur at room temperature. Even accounting for the relative simplicity of a canine brain, it is not likely that revival would be possible after ten minutes of clinical death without severe negative effects to the animal's central nervous system
3. The heart-lung machine described would not operate at anywhere near the capacity required for a large organism, such as the example dog. The 'lung' was far too small and could not have sustained a useful oxygenation rate. The two pumps replacing the heart were also inadequate for the task. A modern heart-lung machine is much larger for these reasons.
It is not likely that this film represents serious scientific research, rather Soviet propaganda. Perhaps the Soviets did research in this area but technology (and understanding) was not adequate for the research to be successful.
All these points aside, however, the film does do a reasonable job at describing how a basic heart-lung machine would function."
The second point is the most obvious and undisputable; just to remind you - human brain dies within 4 minutes if it's not supplied with blood. the changes that take place are irreversible due to the simple fact that nerve cells are very highly dependant on GLUCOSE supply (not just oxygen!) and without it they almost instantly die. btw, that's why it is extremely important to perform the ABC first aid asap, when you see a victim of an accident. the sooner, the better. and coming back to the movie - apart from obvious faking when it comes to the shots of the head, in the end our great narrator boasts about dogs who were revived after 8, 9 and 15 (!) minutes. science, or rather medical fiction.
of course the quality of this film has nothing to do with its realism - the atmosphere is incredible. all those freakish russian doctors etc, creepy machinery and spooky diagrams with russian fonts... definitely worth watching.
Subject: not a fake
Disturbing as it is, this short is not a fake. The man in charge (brukhonenko) designed and constructed one of the earliest heart-lung machines. He was also the first to experimentally perform a total body perfusion with the heart of the animal isolated from the circulation (this information comes from a Mayo Clinic reference book). Also, one of the first links in a Google search for "Brukhonenko" is a discussion on snopes.com that cites a huge number of sources priving that while the film might be a recreation of lab results, the results themeselves are doubtlessly true and were confirmed first-hand by a number of reputable scientists at the time (the Snopes thread itself might not be accessible, but click on 'cached' link and you'll get the whole thing). I'll agree, though, pretty gruesome...
absolutely unbelievable and great!
no matter what that idiot below here says, experiments like this are a first step to true actual scientific immortality
Subject: Pornography for Science Nerds
Ah, the scientist. The nerd. The pasty-faced, 98-lb weakling who couldn't get a date for the prom and instead convinced himself that he has more important things to do for the world like decapitating dogs. These people are the grown-up versions of the pimply kids who pull the wings off of flies because the neighborhood bully made them cry.
You know the type. They excuse their physical impotence by inflating their egotistical nature and in so doing lead a charge under a self-righteous spear which--c'mon people, let's be real--is little more than a phallic proxy for some Freudian shortcoming (ahem) of theirs.
This film was produced by them, was propagated by them and was lauded by them alone. I advise you all to watch this film so that you will have an idea of what our society's "great minds" do in their spare time when they can't find any good porno.
Subject: Robo's oversight
The dog's head is not reattached, they revive a different dog at the end of the clip. The Russians have gone on to use this technology to revive drowning victims and use reduced core temperature operations successfully. I do not doubt this film.
Subject: End of the movie
I notice that no one seems to be mentioning the final minutes of the film where the dog's head is reattached to its body and it goes on to live a normal dog's life.
The ability to do that would require a lot more than just pumping blood into the head. You'd have to reattach the nerve endings in the spinal column for the head to have any control of its body. I don't think we have the technology to do that even today. Isn't that the main reason we can't heal people who have spinal column injuries?
I was skeptical of a severed head being kept alive, but reattaching it to the body was complete science fiction in the 1940's.
Subject: You guys shouldn't be so gullible
The English narrator, JBS Haldane, was a biologist and (note) a member of the Communist party from the 30's to the 50's. While not entirely left of center, this film is deceptive. There's more to brain function than oxygenation, glycerin for example is a crucial component. Also note that you only see the dog head from one angle, you never see the artificial arteries connecting the head to the reservoir...a true medical film would not have shied away from revealing this, instead we're given a dodgy animated diagram. The head at one point moves in a way that would necessitate neck/shoulder muscles and leverage that a disembodied head wouldn't have. Additionally, the dog's behavior is exactly like the behavior of animals I've seen given an anesthetic such as ketamine. Stalin was reknowned for falsifying actual Soviet advances in technology and science. Where there's smoke, there's fire. And now that the iron curtain has been down for 16 years, you'd think the research data on this would have come out by now. Where is it? Why am I the only one asking these questions?
Haldane was certainly not a stupid man, but I think in this case he may have been one of Lenin's (via Stalin) "useful idiots".
All that said, the film is well made and interesting. There are very few examples of Soviet film footage here, which is a shame. Surely there must be alot more out there.
Subject: Interesting, but here's something better:
I went on a "Zombie" google kick the other day, and found a rather amazing news article closely related to the subject of this film. Here's the URL
It briefly details how scientists have managed to "kill" dogs in much the same manner as this video, then reanimate them in more or less the same state as when they "died" three hours ago. Fairly amazing stuff.
Aside from the tragedy of draining away a dog's life on film and seeing the blank staring eyes, I'd say the severed head is not faked, but drugged, and responding to stimulus. The head is not lifting off the table as someone said but is "jerking" in involuntary movements during a drug induced "haze" in response to sudden frightening noise (the loud hammering on the table)
In all likelyhood the dog's heart was stopped THEN they removed the head surgically while tying off blood vessels and connecting the veins and arteries to the machine, in effect there would be very little blood loss then.
The dog's tongue movement was very strained but not fake, the muscles are in the head for the tongue. Even so he was clearly under duress trying to swallow when his throat was severed.
Frankly I don't see any big miracle in the technique to make it doubtfull, the machine was little more than a pump- pump the blood in and out, and in the 1940's we had a century's worth of inventions of various complex machines under the belt to enable construction of this fairly simple machine compared to one that knits broadloom carpets for example.
WHile the other dogs revived and were apparantly normal after being "dead" for 10 minutes, I suspect there was damage to blood cells by the machine as well as some subtle damage to the brain that wouldn't be easy to detect by someone other than the dog's owner who was intimately familar with the dog and his behaviour to catch any subtle changes.
The nurse at the end seemed to be a dog lover which was nice at least.
Typical example of experiments being faked in the Stalin aera by so-called scientists. Lyscenko (spelling?) would be another prominent example for a highly regarded pseudo scientist. I like it because it is fake. Too bad though animals had to die for this bs. Good video on propaganda.
I find that this film shows real experiments. I know this by the science behind this, first the severed dog head. The reason the head was twiching is because the dogs entire head was techically alive, it could process information such as light and sound as well as if it were on the body. The dogs brain was geting oxygen and blood flow, the only factor to determine time of 2nd death is how long the cells can go with waste build-up and lack of nutrients. The whole dogs revival is just like the use of an H&L machine. The mechanism which they discribe would be completely fuctional if built today, O2 bubbles through the blood oxygenating the blood and the pump circulates the blood giving the equalivalant of a heart and lungs
I can say that this film absolutly true.
Subject: what the hell??
I dont know if that was real but it was very odd
Subject: Wow i am amazed...
at all of your stupidity. I have just finished reading each and every one of your reviews. Since when did all of you become the authority on the matter. Now I am not a professional doctor, or history major. I am wise enough to do my research rather than assume what i was shown was propoganda, or medical fact. Here is the case. Yes the host is a well known character in history. This does not make the video true. This only dates the video as being acurate. So where is the proof? Its in the whole video. Have you guys ever heard of a heart lung machine? We use them every day. During procedures. Is it possible that a heart lung machine was produced in 1940? Well first PS this device was not created in 1940 the ending states that several dogs were saved dated 1938. Ok so as far as it looked odd. Is it possible. The answer to those who base everything in life on what they see, is YES. believe it or not, before television was ever invented, we had a heart lung machine. It was invented in 1937 by John Heysham Gibbon : here is a bit of education In 1935 he successfully used a prototype heart-lung bypass machine to keep a cat alive for 26 minutes. Gibbon's World War II army service in the China-Burma-India Theater temporarily interrupted his research. He began a new series of experiments with dogs in the 1950s, using IBM-built machines. The new device used a refined method of cascading the blood down a thin sheet of film for oxygenation, rather than the original whirling technique that could potentially damage blood corpuscles. Using the new method, twelve dogs were kept alive for more than an hour during heart operations. The next step involved using the machine on humans, and in 1953 Cecelia Bavolek became the first to successfully undergo open heart bypass surgery, with the machine totally supporting her heart and lung functions for more than half the duration. thanks everyone
Andrew Stuckey -
Subject: Not Necessarily Untrue
The science behind this is not as sketchy as others may claim. Reflexes and basic motor control (such as twitching) are handled in the brain-stem. Though the tongue is odd, and doubtful, the twitching in response to light and sound is not necessarily impossible. Cool film to watch and show someone on a first date as a conversation starter ;)
Simon Strong -
Subject: Pink Stainless Tail use and endorse Soviet propaganda
This is hi-octane mindmangling stuff. What possible purpose could this film serve? Well, 64 years later it can be recycled into a clip for a psychedelic group on the other side of the (?) planet, hence blood sugar dropping: the movie. I liked it so much I bought the entire premise.
Subject: Here is what I have found
Generally I don't post to things like this, however,
when I saw this thing I had to poke around.
Here is what I have found.
1. The guy S.S. Bryukhonenko existed.
2. He *did* work in the field of Life Extension in Russia in the mid part of the 20th century.
that is the most credible reference I have found.
Here is one that is a bit more suspect, but only due to the source.
If anyone finds more information please post it.
Subject: What's the deal???
Does anyone have any references on this? Seems way too over the top to possibly be true, but then who knows?
Anyway, at the very least it's a very good sci-fi film, and it'll send shivers down your spine. Although hardcore animal lovers definitely shouldn't watch.
Would make a nice chaser after viewing "Frankenstein".
It has to be propaganda of some kind.The dog has it's head cut off,lives on a serving tray and not one drop of blood is lost.I can't get a shaving cut without bleeding for awhile,but this dog doesn't bleed at all.Unless I'm missing something. When did the Soviets develop blood transfusions first,once again I might be missing something.All in all good pointless and usless fun.
Leon Ortona -
Subject: Painful Humour
This is not for the squirmish. It shows hearts and lungs working outside of the body, kept alive by scientific inginuety. It shows a severed dog head being prodded and tested for nerve reaction while connected to their machine, which is amazingly cool! Later in the film, they kill a dog (on film) by draining all of its blood, and then they revive it. The dogs lived for many years afterwards their "death" and revival.
Subject: They are still at it!
The good Doctor is doing one hell of a good Boris Karloff impression!
This film is very similar to recent documentary adverts for the human cryogenic companies and the "strange" head swap experements by a Dr. White.
This film is a good example the modernist blind faith in science and the medical experement.
Subject: Fakey... but hey, it's Haldane!
J.B.S. Haldane's a big name in biology, so I'm a little surprised to see him here hawking the amazing progress of those wacky Russkis.. particularly when this one's a well performed farce. The severed dog head scene, while believable, sorta goes a bit overboard with the hammering scene -- how can a dog head, severed from the neck, twitch and lift up to the sound of a hammer when there's no neck to lift it? Ah well. Nice try, and a real party pleaser.
Honestly, my idea of 'revival' is an actual living animal/person. Just because the organs work and the nerves react (which they are meant to do, even fish twitch when they're dead) doesn't mean the animal is actually alive. As an ex EMT people pronounced dead as long as long as 10 minutes (from what I've seen anyway) on life support still react to certain things. I can pump blood and air through a rabbit I just shot ten minutes ago and it'll do just the same as this dog. I'm not saying this experiment didn't prove anything, atleast it proved your body is still worth something 'atleast 4 hours' after death.
Subject: "It's dead jim!" or "It's time to put on makeup, it's time to dress up right!"
Wow! Quite a little quack of a film which purports that they can bring dogs back to life, and keep living organisma alive. After being introduced by a VERY strange looking doctor, They bring into point a very strange exhibit of a heart beating on this open display (I wouldve covered it from the elements!) to a living lung. We then go even further and study a dog's head which they keep alive through this apparatus which looks strange to say the least. The dog's head is still alive! As they poke prod and do other neat little experiments. Of course it's still alive.. Havent you seen "The Brain That Wouldn't Die'? Then they attempt their greatest experiment. Draining all the blood from a dog and then.... wait! Then putting all of it back in again! Weee! All of this experiements really proves nothing. Unless, maybe for cryogenics purposes. You know, drain your body out, wait for like 15 years while your body is some how preserved. Take you out and put the blood back. This is playing God. But it's a GOOD Playing God (interesting that Dog is God backwards.. that could be taken a lot of ways..) A must see, but of course, not for everyone.
Subject: Refrigerators keep food fresh
There's no reason to assume the experiments depicted in this film are not genuine. Consider the fact that today, these procedures are commonly performed on human patients. Humans have been revived after having been dead for over an hour. Today we call this resuscitation. In fact millions of people have been trained in the simple techniques of resuscitation that we now call CPR, or cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Consider also the fact that various organs are now transplanted from one human to another after having been dead for much longer periods of time. These transplanted organs resume their normal function very quickly after their revival in their new living environment.
The longer a person is dead, the more their body will decay, and the more difficult it will be for them to make a full recovery. The most delicate of all our body parts is the brain, so the loss of mental facilities is the greatest danger. The greatest success in resuscitation after longer periods of time have been achieved in children who have drowned in very cold water. The younger the patient the better their potential for recovery, and colder temperatures preserve the body the same way refrigerators keep food fresh.
The artificial hearts depicted in the film look almost exactly like the ones first used in the United States. In fact the ones first used on human patients looked and worked very similarly. Of course with each new generation of the artificial heart technology, the devices are increasingly smaller. There are also a variety of machines that have been used as artificial lungs and breathing devices.
Today it is common knowledge that the dead can be brought back to life by simple means. As living proof, there are many living people walking amongst us that were once dead. They live normal lives, grow and have families readily understand, they either quickly dispel as fake or they explain away in mystical terms. This should help explain the original review below.
Subject: Oh, those wacky Russians!
Since the consensus among reviewers is that this film is (a) disturbing, and (b) faked, (with which I concur), I can't help but wonder: The Russians may have made this film to show off their talents, but in bringing attention to this in the west, the British may have been demonstrating just how freaky those Russians are. If it is disturbing to us, I'm sure it was disturbing to people in the 1940's as well.
Subject: Fascinating Historical Document
This is one of my favorite pieces in the Prelinger collection. The first time I watched it I found it somewhat disturbing, although medical science has since built upon the things this film discusses. There are intensive brain surgeries that involve essentially killing a person, performing the operation, and then reviving them again.
I must concur, however, with another reviewer with regard to the fact that some parts of this film seem fabricated.
Subject: Bizarre and mysterious
Disturbing is a good word for this film. The experiments presented certainly do seem fake, especially considering what modern medicine knows now. I'm inclined to wonder if perhaps this film was a fraud on the part of the Russians, and that the British narrator lies or exaggerates about his having observed these techniques in use. Some of the imagery is gruesome or barbaric, and the setting seems staged and contrived. Regardless, it plays more like science fiction than medical fact.